Voice Talents spend way too much time indoors. In fact, on certain days (neighbors mowing lawns, airplanes zooming by) we kind of curse the outdoors. Noisy! Those of us who do this full-time, and primarily from home, know that when we are not recording and editing we are “supposed” to be still chained to the computer: marketing, researching, attending webinars, adding to databases, flaunting our latest work….and before we know it our brain hurts from activity but our bodies hurt from inactivity.
Plus, unless we’ve been lucky enough to work that day in an outside studio with actual other humans, we are often isolated and mentally locked in. Yes. This has become an occupational hazard. And while the “Social Media Water Coolers” (facebook groups, video conference calls, blogs, twitter, etc) provide a lovely reminder that we are, indeed, part of a community of others in the same boat (or, rather, booth), they do not take the place of actual physical contact with other real live humans – and the world outside our sound-dampened spaces.
One big fix, of course, is to make room in your budget and schedule to attend some kind of voice over conference. These vary from local meet-up groups to the more national ones like WoVoCon or Faffcon. If you have heard of Faffcon but haven’t been able to get in (attendance is limited) , here is your chance to go to another incredible Faff-event called Faffcamp. This will happen in March of 2015 but only if enough sign up by tonight! (July 10, 2014) Newbies, this is your chance. Don’t blow it – take the step now! I can attest that every single time I have attended one of these, my spirit soars and my voiceover business increases. So register today, and if you use this code, VT9026055 , you’ll get $25 off!
Between conferences, however, we need to take care of our mental and physical health as well – every day. So, on a daily basis – what to do?
Voice talents: go outside and play! It is not something to do “if you have time” – make time. Even ten minutes a day – preferably
outdoors, but a mall or fitness center can work too – away from the mic and keyboard can return your perspective, renew your spirit, and give your body something larger to do than use gestures in the booth and double-click the mouse.
How? A few tips:
- start small. I decided that my low bar would be a ten minute walk per day, outdoors whenever possible. Some days I do more – and want to do more – but on others I stick to the small commitment. This way it can become a daily habit, because it isn’t daunting.
- vary as needed. explore your neighborhood, and/or drive to another spot in town. I have found a park five minutes from my house (yes, by car – but to walk there from my home is jarring not calming – traffic, noise, etc. – so it makes sense to drive for me) , where nature calms me, and gives my brain a break.
- don’t answer your cell phone. Come on, ten minutes?
- bring music if it helps. or someone to walk with. or just think your own thoughts. yeah, that.
- reward yourself sometimes. have breakfast after you get outside. or walk to a destination (like starbucks, and have an iced tea or something. or people watch)
- ditch the guilt. you are taking care of your health.
- mark your success. I put a big green “E” (for exercise) on a paper calendar in my studio every day I do this. After 8 weeks of daily activity – sometimes small, sometimes big – I would dearly miss seeing that “E” each day. It reminds me of past success – and encourages me to keep going.
Remember. We are people, not just “voices”. Get out and reconnect in person – with other humans, and with nature – and you’ll feel a lot better. Promise!